The Conservative Political Action Conference is taking place this weekend just outside DC.
2024 candidates Donald Trump, Nikki Haley, and Vivek Ramaswamy are all scheduled to speak.
Trump fans told Insider no one else should jump in because things are already too mixed up.
NATIONAL HARBOR, Maryland — The three Republicans who have already declared for the 2024 presidential race are two candidates too many for some of the diehard Trump supporters bouncing around at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference meeting just outside Washington, DC.
Insider spoke to over a dozen attendees at the annual political confab about those who have formally thrown their hats into the ring for the GOP nomination in the next presidential cycle, as well as others who appear to be waiting in the wings.
The current field includes scandal-plagued former President Donald Trump, former South Carolina governor and Trump administration alumna Nikki Haley, and tech entrepreneur turned aspiring politician Vivek Ramaswamy. Some of the likely contenders include former Vice President Mike Pence, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, and others.
Several conferees said they were undecided at this point.
Others appeared open to other voices pouring in.
But the most MAGA members of the bunch said they’d rather not see a repeat of the dozen-plus candidates Trump systematically picked off in 2016.
If Karen Ruybal had her way, she’d close the whole thing down right now.
“I don’t think we need to mix it up any more than it already is,” the woman from Fort Lupton, Colorado, told Insider outside CPAC’s main auditorium.
Ruybal said she hadn’t paid any attention to GOP lawmakers who’d spoken throughout Thursday’s session — a roster including House Judiciary Committee chairman Jim Jordan, 2016 presidential hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, and freshman Sen. JD Vance of Ohio, among others — because she’d been busy exploring the exhibition hall and catching up with friends.
“What I’m most looking forward to, obviously, is President Trump,” she said, noting that she planned to be front and center for his keynote address on Saturday evening.
Ruybal added that earlier in the day someone else had worked their way through the crowd asking everyone “Trump or DeSantis?” — a spot-poll which led her to believe that a Florida Man showdown may be inevitable.
“I don’t like the way it’s looking,” she said. “But I think it’s happening.”
Chris, an older Black gentleman from Pennsylvania who declined to give his last name, shook his head approvingly when Insider listed the current candidates.
But he tightened up a bit when asked if he was looking for others to join the fray.
“I think that’s a good group,” he said, adding, “That’s enough.”
Luis Marrero, who said he was in town from Orlando, Florida, wasn’t interested in seeing the 2024 crew swell any further.
“I’m happy with it,” Marrero said of the existing three-way race.
Thao Le, a Vietnamese woman from San Diego, California, said she wasn’t opposed to having others test the waters, but they shouldn’t count on her vote.
“Whoever wants to run, that’s fine. But President Trump is the one that we need,” Le told Insider.
“There’s others out there,” she added. “But they don’t have what it takes to make America great,”
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